Trump chief of staff doubles down on tax returns: They will ‘never’ be released despite Trump saying he will

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Monday 08 April 2019 11:45
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Picture:(Saul Loeb/Getty)

The White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has said Democratic lawmakers looking into Donald Trump’s finances will “never” get a hold of the president’s tax returns.

Trump’s position comes despite the fact that over the years the US president has promised to release his tax returns.

Instead, Mulvaney criticised the congressional investigations during a Fox News Sunday interview, and the House Oversight Committee’s request to see the president’s tax documents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a “political hit job.”

He said Democrats “knew they were not going to get these taxes, they know what the law is, they know that one of the fundamental principles of the IRS is to protect the confidentiality of you and me and everybody else who files taxes, they know that.

They know the terms under law by which the IRS can give them the documents but political hit job is not one of those reasons.

“To be clear, you believe Democrats will never see the president’s tax returns?” the host asked him.

“Never,” Mr Mulvaney replied.

Nor should they. Keep in mind, that’s already an issue that was already litigated during the 2016 election. Voters knew the president could have given his tax returns, they knew that he didn’t and they elected him anyway.

Donald Trump has promised to release his tax returns explicitly on a number of occasions, here's a quick refresher...

April 19, 2011:

He promised to ‘do the tax returns’ if Barack Obama, then president of the United States, would release his birth certificate.

During an interview with ABC News, Trump said:

We’ll look at that. Maybe I’m going to do the tax returns when Obama does his birth certificate. I may tie my tax returns. I’d love to give my tax returns. I may tie my tax returns into Obama’s birth certificate.

Obama did. He didn’t.

May 2014:

He said if he runs for office, he will ‘absolutely’ release his tax returns

During an interview with Ireland’s TV3, the interview reminded him that Obama released his birth certificate, but Trump hadn’t released his tax returns, as promised. His response: “Well I don’t know, did he do it?”

And if I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely and I would love to do that. I did produce a financial statement even though I wasn’t even running. I did produce a financial statement and it was shocking to some because it was so much higher than people thought even possible. So it was a great statement, and it was my honour to do it.

February 25, 2015

Trump tells conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he will release his tax returns

He said: “I would release tax returns, and I would also explain to people that as a person that’s looking to make money, you know, I’m in the business of making money until I do this.

And if I won, I would make money for our country. So the answer is yeah, I would do it.

“I would certainly show tax returns if it was necessary,” he added/

October 2015

Trump said he’ll release his tax returns once Hilary Clinton releases her emails

On ABC's This Week he said: "I’m thinking about it. I’m thinking about maybe when we find out the true story on Hillary’s emails."

At some point I’ll release it.

January and February 2016

Trump makes multiple references to releasing his tax returns in a matter of ‘months’

NBC News Matt Lauer asked him: “Real quickly. When are you going to release your tax returns?”

Trump responded: “Probably over the next few months. They’re being worked on now.”

He added that it was taking time because they’re “very big tax returns.”

The biggest, I guarantee you this, the biggest ever in the history of what we’re doing. So, it’s very complicated stuff. But we’ll be releasing that.

Later that month he revealed that his tax returns are under an audit, and he cannot release them while that is happening.

July 2016

Trump told Fox News that it’s not that he’s refusing to release them, it’s just that he hasn’t received much pressure to do so

He said: “Well, I haven’t had much pressure.”

I’ll be honest, most people don’t care about it. The only ones that care are certain people in the media. I’ve had very, very little pressure. And, I remember with Mitt Romney four years ago. Everybody wanted his. […] And Mitt gave that, and after he gave it, they found a little sentence and they made such a big deal. He might have lost the election over that.

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